Episode 16 Restoration Roadshow


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Episode 16

Series devoted to saving treasured heirlooms from the scrapheap. Eric Knowles and his team of brilliant restorers continue their efforts to save heirlooms at Chatsworth House.


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Welcome to the programme that helps you make money from tired and damaged antiques.

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Don't keep them hidden under the bed. Dust them off, restore them, and get them sold.

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It's all here on Restoration Roadshow.

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We've come to magnificent Chatsworth in the heart of the Peak District for today's Restoration Roadshow.

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Chatsworth is home to the Cavendish family.

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In 1744, Georgiana Spencer married William, the 5th Duke of Devonshire.

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Immortalised in the film The Duchess, she was a great socialite,

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and would have been thrilled to see you all arriving today with your splendid treasures.

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Everyone is keen to know, what's their value?

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If it was brought into a better state, it could be worth about £1,000-£1,500.

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-Should they be cleaned up and restored? Now, that's going to cost you some money.

-Not to worry.

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Oh, I love it when they say that!

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-Will they be kept in the family?

-My wife says of this clock

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that she'd rather have a corpse hanging on the wall.

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And, if they go to auction, will they make any money?

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Coming up...

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A mahogany table with a gammy leg. Can Rod Titian rebuild it?

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If I can take off the masking tape that's on there, just to have a look and see what we're up against...

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There we go.

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A poorly clock that's lost its tick and tock.

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Will it ever strike again?

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And a chipped vase gives restorer Roger Hawkins a sticky problem.

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Let's start all over again.

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The Duchess was renowned for her exquisite taste,

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and during the current Chatsworth restoration programme,

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a magnificent item that would have graced her drawing room was discovered.

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It's a pair of over doors, a real treasure hidden for over 200 years.

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These decorative panels are in the process of being cleaned up

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so they can be displayed to the public for the first time in their history.

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Outside, our restoration team is getting ready

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to embrace all your hidden antiques and family treasures.

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This you have to tell me about, because this has had a hard life, hasn't it?

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And give them that special attention they so desperately need.

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It's a beautiful piece of walnut. It absolutely glows.

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First up, a Georgian gem.

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These tables were used for playing cards and drinking tea.

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In Britain in the mid-1700s, there was a big demand for tables,

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like this mahogany delight, brought in by Susan Taylor.

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But it's hiding a nasty secret...

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At first glance, I'm looking at your table and I'm thinking,

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why on earth have you brought it to the Restoration Roadshow?

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Because it looks right as rain from this standpoint anyway.

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So tell me why.

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Well, it looks lovely from the front and on the top, but have you seen behind here?

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-Oh, dear.

-It's bandaged up because the leg fell off.

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I've never seen gaffer tape used like that before!

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It looks a bit sad, that, doesn't it?

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It's very sad, it's very sad.

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What about the table itself? Is it a family heirloom or what?

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It was, yes. My parents bought it at the Grosvenor House Antiques Fair in London in the early '60s.

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I've obviously inherited it from them.

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It's a table that we've used a lot.

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We've dined off it, we've played cards on it.

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Unfortunately, we decided to put it in the conservatory,

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because we couldn't find a spot for it in the house. It's been in there for several years.

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When the conservatory needed repairing, Roger and I got hold of the table to lift it out,

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and whoops, the leg fell off!

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I'm afraid mahogany and condensation don't go well together.

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Just looking at it, date-wise, I suppose 1760?

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-Really?

-As it is in its present condition, it's probably worth between £100 and £200.

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'And with only three legs, it's not much use.'

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So it's an SOS to Rod Titian.

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He fell in love with restoration at the tender age of 14,

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and as a furniture expert, can count the Royal household among his clients.

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There's a variety of things that can be done to improve this table.

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Straight away, the surface on the top is quite dry.

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In one respect it's quite nice, but you do have a bit of water damage here, which does need to come back.

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-Let's open it up.

-Oh, look at that!

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-Great!

-What a difference, eh? Wow!

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This his how I'd expect to find the colour of the inside.

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The top is slightly more bleached, because obviously

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it's been exposed to the light. The inside, a lot deeper.

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It's got a piece missing just there, which can be replaced.

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The split can be restored, no problem.

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I'm just going to move it this way.

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We have this broken leg.

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If I can take this off,

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the masking tape that's on there,

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just to have the look and see what we're up against.

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There we go.

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OK. There's been a lot of work, because that's all fresh, that's a new bit of mahogany on here.

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A lot going on with regards to the stabilising.

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It goes back nicely, but obviously we have to make sure it's all sound.

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There's a little crack in there as well.

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There's a lot of gluing, a lot of tidying up.

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It's not just the stabilising, it's tidying, and the aesthetic aspect.

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I think the necessary aspects are definitely to take care of this leg that's broken.

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And the other area is probably the split, over here.

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So if you're happy with me taking care of this

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little piece that's missing there, and the leg,

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because you're a charming woman, I'd do the whole thing for about £180?

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That sounds fantastic.

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I'll even throw in waxing the top as well.

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That's very kind of you, Rod, you're a true gent!

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So in its current condition,

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this tea table is worth between £100-£200.

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Rod's charging £180 to put it back together and give it a facelift.

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And then, if Susan wanted to sell it,

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she'd be looking to make around £400.

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But she plans to keep it, as it belonged to her parents.

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So get to it, Rod! Prepare the glue, position that clamp, and give this poorly table a leg-up.

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Coming up...

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Find out if Malcolm can help this lovely oak clock rediscover its chime.

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And what will Rod make of this unusual fire screen, that's undergone a bit of DIY.

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As we say on Restoration Roadshow, everything is welcome.

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We've got paintings, animals, clocks and furniture, but our restorers never complain.

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They're a skilled bunch that just loves nursing your tired and careworn antiques back to health.

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And that's just what's needed with our next case.

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Joan Montague inherited these Victorian porcelain vases when a family friend died.

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They're of great sentimental value.

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Do you have any idea what they are?

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Well, I used to like to think that they

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were like a Minton-type vase, but I think they're probably a German vase.

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They're certainly in the category of Minton-esque, because it's a factory

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that are quite fond of using the lily pattern and lily designs.

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But I don't think they are Minton.

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If they were Minton, they'd invariably be marked.

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But they're certainly 19th century, turn-of-the-century.

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But one vase is chipped and has been badly fixed with some DIY gluing.

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Thank heavens you're on the case, Roger. It's a fiddly job, but your skills and expertise have taken you

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all over the world. So can you help Joan overcome her ceramic crisis?

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As far as the restoration is concerned, by the time

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I have restored this, you won't know which one has been done.

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To do that, I would have to take this apart and then clean the edges.

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That takes a good hour, just to get that far.

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Then glue it back with appropriate glue, and then fill that join,

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and then I'll paint over that and put some glaze on.

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Obviously, I'd have to put some of the gold lines back on.

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So it then becomes as good as new.

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Right, that sounds fine.

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Joan inherited these vases, and in their current condition they're worth around £20-£30.

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Roger is going to charge £60 to restore them.

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But even then, they'd only sell for around £60-£80.

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It's not about the money, for Joan they hold great sentimental value.

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So Roger, we're counting on you to put the pride back into these lovely vases.

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I do enjoy uncovering unusual and charming objects,

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many seeing the light of day for the first time in years.

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Owner Nigel Tasker would like to see his special late Victorian clock

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taking pride of place on his mantelpiece and chiming again.

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Has this fine-looking clock been keeping good time in your family for many a generation?

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Before I got the clock, yes, it was.

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I can remember it working extremely well when my grandfather had it.

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Since I've had it, however, it's not been working satisfactorily, to say the least.

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In fact, it hasn't been working at all.

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It's in this beautiful carved oak, and it's a sort of architectural shape.

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You looked at me with a quizzical look, then.

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I never knew what the wood was. I always thought it was mahogany.

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No, I'm pretty sure that's oak.

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Why do I like it? I do like it!

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I like it because it's stately.

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It looks a quality clock, it really does look a quality clock.

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An auction estimate, if you were to place it on auction,

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might be in the region of about £500, or maybe £700 on a good day.

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That really is with the mechanism working.

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As it is, it's decorative.

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I don't know if this is something you were thinking of placing at auction?

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-No. No.

-That's fair enough.

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Quite a definite. So what's going to happen?

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I would like to get it restored if at all possible, get it into working order,

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because this chimes are delightful to listen to.

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Of course, if it survives long enough, my son will inherit it and then my grandson after that.

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So this could be yours one day, is that right?

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So it's time to call in our expert Malcolm Green.

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With a lifetime of repairing furniture and clocks,

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he's got the knowledge and skill to help this timepiece find its voice again.

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Rather nice oak, rather nicely carved.

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The real problems, I think you've got that hand, it's not actually missing, it's dropped off.

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Right, OK.

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Yes, I can see, it's down here.

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That shouldn't be too much of a problem to get back on?

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No, that's not too much of a problem at all.

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Malcolm, can you tell me, the clock itself, is it British-made or is it foreign?

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These movements are German, really.

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-Oh, right.

-This is what we call a ting tang.

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Which means it chimes on the hour and the quarters.

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It looks like it needs a bit of a clean.

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-Is it working at the moment at all?

-No, it's not.

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That's really why I brought it here.

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This has fallen off, but they normally break for a reason.

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Meaning that, when you go round with the hand on the clock, it stops, because it meets resistance.

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Therefore, it breaks.

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That resistance is normally because the movement is locked, and it locks quite often because

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there's a section that's actually engaging wrongly, it's broken, it's meshing, therefore this breaks.

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-So that's an indication of another problem, in many ways.

-Right.

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So Malcolm, what about the actual getting the movement up and running?

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I would think somewhere in the region of £300-£400, something of that sort.

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OK. That's not too bad, is it?

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-No.

-Just a quickie, I just wanted to know, if this was in a saleroom?

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I'm saying five to seven, because I'm thinking more auction value than anything else.

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Stick your neck out, what's it going to be in a shop?

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Maybe £1,500.

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Something of that sort of price.

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-Armed with that information, I think it's cut-and-dried, don't you?

-Absolutely.

-Excellent.

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Well, in its current condition, this clock is worth between £500-£700.

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Malcolm is going to charge £300-£400,

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and then it could be worth up to £1,500.

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But Nigel isn't worried about value.

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His clock is going to be passed down his family for generations to come.

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As long as Malcolm can get it ticking again...

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Here on restoration Roadshow, we're keen to give you as much advice as we can.

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Sometimes items are brought to us that may look like they need restoration,

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but in commercial terms it's often not worth making the repairs.

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Particularly if the owner is taking the item to auction.

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That's what Sheila Mays plans to do with this rather unusual Victorian fire screen.

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This is a really nice decorative piece.

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The taxidermy, it's very fine with the quality of the birds.

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You've got all the butterflies, the colours, it springs out at you.

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-Are you familiar with what it is yourself?

-Yes, I am.

-You are.

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It's a fire screen.

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Good, well done.

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Well, you're right, it's a fire screen. It's more a decorative fire screen.

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It would have been used to cover the actual hearths when they weren't used.

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Is there a history to it that you might like to share with us?

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My mother-in-law lived in a large farmhouse with lounges and that,

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and music rooms. She had this stood in the fireplace.

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-I see, so it was used?

-It was used by her.

-As a proper fire screen?

-Yes.

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And then they retired and went to live in Sheffield, and she wanted to,

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you know, down-load on some of her furniture,

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and she asked me if I wanted this and I've had that ever since.

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I must have had it 50 years now.

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It's been upstairs in my spare bedroom for 40 years, covered up in a blanket.

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-My word. Valuation-wise, have you any idea yourself as to a value that it has, as it is now?

-No idea.

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We've had our valuers look at it and the maximum it could achieve in an auction room would be

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about £150, possibly a bit lower but no more than that.

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The amount of work that needs doing to it just to bring it back up to a decorative piece

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would outweigh the value so I'd suggest that you just put it into a sale and hopefully it'll sell

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to a decorator, possibly for a client, or maybe someone private that might like the taxidermy.

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They can spend a bit of money on it themselves.

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-Yes, that's fine.

-Great.

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-Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

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So Rod thinks Sheila may get up to £150 for this fire screen at auction.

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But will it attract the bidders?

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Coming up, Malcolm has taken the oak clock back to his workshop, but what will he find when he opens it up?

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This thing here is called a click spring, which is not engaging.

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That's bent. Quite a few things on here do seem to be bent.

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And Dr Rod needs all his instruments as he tends to the badly wounded Georgian table.

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Roger's task is to help breathe new life into this precious lily vase.

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It's been badly glued and he's taken it to his workshop for a thorough examination.

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First, he's taken out the old repair.

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Now it's a question of picking the right glue to put it back together.

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He's mixed up two different ones.

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I think, because it's porcelain and it's a fine little break,

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I'm going to go for the more modern epoxy resin.

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So I've just got to make sure that that is in position,

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so what I'm going to do is just take a little bamboo stick

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and just hold it gently,

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and see whether that is in alignment,

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which it's not because I can feel the little stick catching

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on the edge there so I'm just going to coerce it into position.

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And it's...

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Let's start all over again.

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It's obviously tricky selecting the right glue, but do you have a Plan B, Roger?

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I'm going to change my mind and use the other glue because that's a lot stiffer.

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I can instantly feel that's better.

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It's now a waiting game.

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Once the glue sets, Roger has to carefully paint the vase and hopefully make an invisible repair.

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Will he succeed? And what will owner Joan Montague think when she's reunited with her family treasure?

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We've got a fascinating collection of items here today.

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Lucia is hard at work trying to restore this lovely 17th century painting.

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Louise has been presented with a badly damaged map.

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Tim is trying to keep his cool.

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Agh! I did say it might not go smoothly.

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Rod is trying to give this 18th century table a full four legs instead of three.

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I need to fill this joint here with glue, try and make sure it goes into all the surfaces so that

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once the joint over here goes back in, it makes contact with all four sides and the back as well,

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and glue as well, so when the whole thing dries overnight, it'll be a nice, firm, steady joint

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that will be ready for me to do the next stage,

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which is the finishing off, colouring, and just making good.

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Rod is using a traditional glue that must be heated to just the right temperature.

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Too cool and it'll be too thick.

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If the consistency is right, the glue will set perfectly.

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Here it goes, onto the actual table itself.

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OK.

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There's nothing that's off here so it indicates the whole thing

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is flush, straight, not going off at an angle.

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It's a nice joint there as well, which indicates it's not leaning inwards or outwards.

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It's nicely square to the rest of the table.

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Now it's a question of tightly securing the leg to avoid any kind of movement.

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It's a tricky job so I'm going to put some masking tape on.

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This is a tip for anyone if you're doing clamping by yourself.

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Get a bit of masking tape and double it over.

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I can then stick that on to the area that I want to protect.

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I might do the same to the other side so I don't have to fiddle around.

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Once I've put the sash clamp on,

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it'll go nicely into position without me having to mess around with it.

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The sash clamp is going into position.

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Rod needs to make sure the leg remains rigid during this crucial process as the glue is setting.

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The importance of clamping everything correctly is that, if you didn't do it that way,

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once the whole thing is dry and you take the clamps off, your joints will be all out of square.

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The glue will be hard and the only thing to do would be to

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knock the whole thing apart again and just go backwards.

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While Rod draws breath and checks he's applied the right pressure on each clamp,

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we'll keep everything crossed and hope his expertise triumphs.

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Malcolm was given the tricky task of trying to put the tick and chime back into this Victorian clock,

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but that's easier said than done so he's had to pack it up and take it to his workshop.

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First of all, he removed the hands, unscrewed the case, and took out the mechanism.

0:20:440:20:50

I'm running the movement down because,

0:20:530:20:56

even though it's not functioning properly when it's together, the wheels are still in motion.

0:20:560:21:01

If you don't run the spring down, you get a situation where,

0:21:010:21:06

when you take it apart, of course everything goes everywhere so you have to run the springs down first.

0:21:060:21:12

This is called a click spring, which is not engaging and that is bent.

0:21:120:21:18

Quite a few things on here do seem to be bent actually.

0:21:180:21:22

Malcolm has to be very careful.

0:21:220:21:24

If he releases the spring too quickly, he could easily break it.

0:21:240:21:29

Otherwise you'd have bits of flying clock all over the room and that's not something we want.

0:21:290:21:34

So now we've dismantled the clock, it needs to be cleaned, washed,

0:21:420:21:47

all the repair work undertaken, reassembled, and then it will work.

0:21:470:21:52

Sounds straightforward enough, Malcolm,

0:21:520:21:55

but Nigel's most treasured possession is now in hundreds of tiny pieces.

0:21:550:21:59

I just hope you can put it all back together and make it chime once again.

0:21:590:22:02

Coming up, will Rod come up trumps and bring this mahogany card table back to life?

0:22:040:22:10

And can this Victorian fire screen attract the bidders at auction?

0:22:100:22:14

It's been a busy and tiring day at Chatsworth for our Restoration Roadshow.

0:22:190:22:25

We're approaching a time when, after many painstaking hours

0:22:250:22:29

of honest toil, our experts return those precious family treasures to their rightful owners.

0:22:290:22:35

Roger had quite a task with this Victorian vase.

0:22:350:22:39

He had a sticky issue with the glue, which we all hope he's managed to fix. Time for the moment of truth.

0:22:390:22:45

Joan Montague is about to find out.

0:22:450:22:48

Cast your eyes on this and feel free to fondle.

0:22:480:22:52

Oh, yes, that's better, isn't it?

0:22:540:22:57

It looks better without the crack, doesn't it?

0:22:570:23:00

Can you see where the crack was?

0:23:000:23:02

No, actually, I can't.

0:23:040:23:06

That's very, very good, very, very good.

0:23:060:23:09

Yes, very good.

0:23:090:23:11

This vase had an ugly break that had been badly repaired.

0:23:120:23:16

Roger removed the old glue, painted it and gave this treasured vase a restoration transformation.

0:23:160:23:22

I bet Joan's friend would have been really impressed.

0:23:220:23:24

-If she was here today, she'd have been very pleased he's made such a good job of it.

-Thank you.

0:23:240:23:29

Some things are for monetary value, some things are for pleasurable value,

0:23:290:23:33

some things are for sentimental value.

0:23:330:23:35

This isn't for monetary value, and that's the important thing.

0:23:350:23:39

It's where it came from.

0:23:390:23:41

Remember that Victorian oak clock which Nigel Tasker brought in?

0:23:430:23:46

A family heirloom that sadly didn't work.

0:23:460:23:50

It's time for Malcolm to reveal his handiwork.

0:23:500:23:52

Oh!

0:23:520:23:54

Oh, yes!

0:23:550:23:58

That is lovely, absolutely gorgeous.

0:23:580:24:03

When it arrived, its hands were missing, it wasn't ticking,

0:24:030:24:06

and most of all Nigel was desperate to hear it chime once more.

0:24:060:24:11

It's now telling the time and doing the job it's supposed to do.

0:24:110:24:14

Fabulous, it's really marvellous.

0:24:140:24:16

I've been wanting to see it working for so long.

0:24:160:24:19

Could you take Nigel down memory lane, and could you let this man listen to the chime?

0:24:190:24:25

Because he hasn't heard it for a long, long time.

0:24:250:24:28

CLOCK CHIMES

0:24:280:24:30

There you are, you see.

0:24:300:24:32

That's lovely, isn't it?

0:24:350:24:37

That's absolutely beautiful.

0:24:430:24:45

It really does take me back to my childhood

0:24:450:24:49

and to my grandparents' house, listening to that striking.

0:24:490:24:54

That's great. What a pleasure it is to help bring special but broken family treasures back to life.

0:24:540:25:00

We've seen a real selection today.

0:25:000:25:02

Roger used his years of experience to help Joan's vases look perfect.

0:25:020:25:06

She's now taken them home to display them in her living room.

0:25:060:25:09

Very good.

0:25:090:25:11

Malcolm took Nigel's clock and helped it ring out the time once more.

0:25:110:25:15

He's taking it home to pass on to the next generation.

0:25:150:25:19

Rod gave his expert advice to Sheila Mace and suggested it wasn't worth

0:25:190:25:24

incurring the extra restoration costs on this Victorian fire screen.

0:25:240:25:28

She's taking it to auction and Rod reckons it could fetch up to £150.

0:25:280:25:33

Speaking of Rod, he's been hard at work on Susan Taylor's Georgian table.

0:25:330:25:39

The top had a piece missing and it was hiding a nasty secret underneath all this tape - a broken leg.

0:25:390:25:46

Is it still limping, or is it a healthy limbed table again?

0:25:460:25:49

It's time to find out.

0:25:490:25:50

Are you ready?

0:25:500:25:52

-Let's go.

-OK.

0:25:520:25:55

Wow!

0:25:590:26:00

-It's gorgeous.

-The section that was replaced was somewhere here.

0:26:030:26:08

I say somewhere because I can't actually see it myself,

0:26:100:26:13

but if I looked really hard, I'd probably find it.

0:26:130:26:16

When Rod first saw the table, it had a chunk missing out of the top.

0:26:160:26:20

Now, I can't even see where it was.

0:26:200:26:23

I put a tiny skin of polish on.

0:26:230:26:25

I gave it a clean beforehand, put a skin of French polish on

0:26:250:26:30

to seal everything in, then I've just given it a very soft wax

0:26:300:26:33

just to dull everything down and mute it off to an eggshell shine.

0:26:330:26:37

Rod, thank you so much. It's beautiful.

0:26:370:26:39

Finally, that leg was broken and bandaged in tape.

0:26:390:26:43

Now it's back to its original condition, stable and level.

0:26:430:26:47

Wow, that's just amazing.

0:26:470:26:49

-Thank you so much.

-You're welcome.

0:26:490:26:51

Now it's time to find out how this Victorian fire screen fares.

0:26:570:27:01

We valued it at £150.

0:27:010:27:03

It's been in Sheila Mace's family for years so it cost her nothing.

0:27:030:27:08

Let's hope it gets the buyers here at Sawyer's fine-art auction all in a flutter.

0:27:080:27:12

If you're interested in buying or selling at auction, you'll have commission

0:27:140:27:19

and other charges to pay, so be sure to check with the auction house.

0:27:190:27:23

This is us, the Victorian fire screen.

0:27:230:27:26

..Fire screen mounted with hummingbirds and exotic butterflies,

0:27:260:27:32

bring a little exotica to your drawing room. Lot 1744.

0:27:320:27:36

100, I'm bid.

0:27:360:27:37

At £100, take 10 anywhere?

0:27:370:27:40

-£100 only. 110. 120 anywhere?

-Come on, where's 20?

0:27:400:27:45

120, 30, 40, 50, 60. Selling at 160.

0:27:450:27:51

170 anywhere? At £160...

0:27:510:27:56

Sold at 160. Thank you.

0:27:560:28:00

Wow, that's amazing. Sadly, Sheila couldn't be here today so I'm going to call her with the news.

0:28:000:28:06

Well, the good news is that somebody wanted it and paid £160 for it.

0:28:060:28:13

'Oh my word, that's good. Thank you very much.'

0:28:130:28:17

-OK. Bye, Sheila.

-'Bye!'

0:28:170:28:18

So, another successful auction.

0:28:180:28:21

Well, we've seen some fabulous objects today and you too could have

0:28:210:28:24

some treasure hidden away at home so get it dusted down, get it restored and give it a new lease of life.

0:28:240:28:31

That is what this programme is all about.

0:28:310:28:33

Until the next time, it's goodbye from Restoration Roadshow.

0:28:330:28:37

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:470:28:50

E-mail [email protected]

0:28:500:28:52

Series devoted to saving treasured heirlooms from the scrapheap, restoring them to their former glory and maybe even making some money at auction. Eric Knowles and his team of expert restorers take up their tools once more in a bid to save your damaged family treasures from a trip to the dump or charity shop.

It's going to be a hectic day for Rod Titian. He not only has to save a mahogany table with only three good legs, but he's also called upon to assess a remarkable Victorian fire screen. Its owner hopes that it'll make some money at auction. But will all her dreams go up in smoke?

Master of ceramics Roger Hawkins plans to revive a pair of early 20th century vases with huge sentimental value. But before he can do anything else he has to undo the damage done by an earlier attempt at restoration.

Elsewhere, Malcolm Green is pondering how to give a 19th century oak clock its tick, tock and chime back. But it's no straightforward task. Soon the clock's mechanism is in hundreds of pieces on Malcolm's workbench, but it's a complex jigsaw puzzle and Malcolm doesn't have all the time in the world to play with.